Quinoa cranberry chicken salad is made with slices of tender chicken breast and good-for-you quinoa. They’re tossed together with lovely citrus flavors and a tangy Asian dressing to make a beautiful, healthy dish!
I want to talk about the dreaded “E” word today. Exercise. I’ve grown to loathe that word a lot lately. Incorporating exercise into my plans to get healthy is important, but I have a problem with that. First, I despise exercise. There is nothing that I find satisfying about sweating and achy muscles and being 60 pounds overweight in a gym full of fit people. Besides, nearly every time I start a great exercise routine at the gym, I get injured in some way. I’m beginning to feel like a 50-something person living in a 70 year old’s body, and truthfully, it’s depressing the heck out of me.
Eating foods that are lower in carbohydrates, along with strength training and getting my heart rate up to the 150 range on an elliptical bike (which, for a woman who can barely bend her knees, is nearly impossible), should be all I need to help me shed my excess weight.
The problem is, I lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks, get injured and can’t exercise for 2 weeks, so I gain back 3 of those pounds. This roller coaster has been going on since late April of this year and it is so frustrating! If any of you have similar problems and know of an exercise routine that might help, please share your wisdom with me!
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to create healthy, nutritious, and delicious foods to eat, like this quinoa cranberry chicken salad.
I can’t exercise this week, but refuse to throw my face into a pan full of salted caramel brownies over it. I know that’s a recipe for disaster.
This quinoa cranberry chicken salad is nothing short of fantastic! It’s packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals from quinoa and chicken, and sweetness from the cranberries and oranges. Topped with a nutty flavored Asian dressing, you’d be wise to put on your drool bib before you dig in to this dish!
Get out into the world, exercise a bit, and make yourself a GREAT week, everyone!
I hope you love this quinoa cranberry chicken salad recipe!
Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad
- .5 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked (.5 cup dry quinoa makes 1 cup cooked)
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, I use rotisserie chicken breast meat
- 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced (white part only)
- 1 cup Mandarin orange segments, if using canned oranges, drain the syrup
- .5 cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Asian dressing
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tsp rice vinegar
- .25 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed is best
- .75 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar, or raw honey
- .5 tsp ground ginger
- .5 tsp minced garlic
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Cooking time, approx. 12 minutes.
- Cut cooked chicken breasts into small, bite-sized pieces or shred them with a fork.
- In a large salad bowl, combine cooked quinoa, chicken, leek, oranges, and dried cranberries. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, ground ginger, and garlic. Whisk to combine.
- Just before serving, toss salad with dressing, in an amount to suit your taste.
- Serve over healthy greens or stuff into hollowed out tomatoes.